September 13th, 2019
I’m a loyal listener to Moody Radio. I make no apology for that. There are many good Christian radio broadcasting operations, but my radio in my car is almost always on Moody. We have and Amazon Echo and ‘Alexa’ knows how to tune in Moody Radio online with but a few well-chosen words, “Alexa, play Moody Radio!”
Let me assure you, this devotional is one big commercial or testimonial for Moody Radio. As much as I love the institution that it represents, that is far from the point.
As I was listening today to Moody, they ran a commercial that featured two non-believers talking about one of their neighbors. The man abrasive with hired help that came in to do his lawn. When playing catch with his young son he scolded the boy to get in front of the ball better and then told him in no uncertain terms that unless he stepped up, he would never be even a mediocre ball player.
Then the man relating this to his friend said, “And can you believe it, he does all that, and then then wants me to go to church with him and his family! When I asked him, why would I want to do that, he has the gall to tell me of the change that Jesus has had in his life. Change like that, I don’t need!
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:35 (CSB)
What you say regarding Jesus and your testimony will not mean a thing to those outside the Grace of Jesus if we are at minimum being obedient to the point where we make our goal to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us into the likeness of Jesus we should be.
It is staggering, people who profess to be God fearing believers, think little of domineering the conversation, insisting that their word is the last word. The Golden Rule seems to have been turned on its heal and instead of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, it’s become, do unto others BEFORE they do unto us!
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (CSB)
You don’t even need to think upon just what that transformation looks like. Every single phase of the transformation is peeling away our self-serving, self-engaged, carnal being, and more a manifestation, which represents our kinship with Christ Jesus. If we are yielding to the Spirits guidance, we are becoming more and more like Jesus every day and acting out less and less.
It is appalling to see those who profess a relationship with Jesus, behave as self-absorbed, self-centered children, only interested in making sure that they get what they feel they deserve.
Besides not being a good witness for Jesus, such behavior completely disincentivizes any discipleship effect we may be trying to extend to believers less imbued in the Word.
We have two primary objectives as believers. First is to be a witness for Jesus to the entire world. There isn’t a place where you are not obligated to act in His interest. To do this we must leave self on the shelf back at the house.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (CSB)
So, what is our excuse? Did we not receive that power? Or did we receive that power and then squander the gift and burry it?
The other thing is we are to be disciples and disciple makers.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (CSB)
Yes, I know, I use this passage more than any other.
But isn’t a suggestion, or a good idea; it is a commandment.
You can’t be an effective disciple maker unless you have resolved to be a disciple yourself. That is the only way it works. If you think you can you’re no different than that neighbor, the two guys in the commercial were talking about; hypocrite.
Not buying the argument that we are just flesh and the church is filled with hypocrites. There is only one hypocrite Jesus wants to deal with, it’s you, and you, and me.
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless you fail the test.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (CSB)
Test yourselves. Is your behavior telling others that you are ‘that guy’ or do they see Jesus in everything we are and do? I’ve heard it so much, but it is so very true, “We will be the only image of Jesus some people will see”; EVER!
Are we reflecting the love and compassion of Jesus or are we just God’s spoiled children “Acting Out!”
In His Grace!